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EHCP: Appeals and Mediation

Support for Families

Overview

You have the right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, SENDIST (click here to open website in a new tab).

However, we would hope to sort out any disagreements through discussions with you and your child’s school or college first. Please contact your APO in the first instance, who will try and resolve any issues and address any of your concerns. You will find their direct telephone number on any of the letters you will have been sent.

Teacher checking an official letter

Mediation

Mediation is a confidential process designed to resolve disputes within the EHCP process using a neutral third party to facilitate an agreement. A mediator does not judge or impose a solution but helps both parties work towards a mutually satisfactory outcome.

Mediation can help you sort out disagreements without having to appeal. If you have mediation and you’re still not happy, you can still appeal.

If your appeal is about an EHC needs assessment or the education part of an EHC plan, you must get mediation advice. If you don’t want mediation, the mediation service will give you a certificate to give to the Tribunal when you lodge your appeal.

You don’t have to get mediation advice if your disagreement is just about:

Parents of children under 16, and young people aged 16 to 25, can ask for and take part in mediation.

The Children and Families Act 2014 requires all local authorities to provide independent mediation and disagreement resolution services to help when parents or young people cannot agree with the local authority or other providers about the special educational provision for a child or young person. East Sussex contracts a neutral organisation called Global Mediation to support this process

For more information visit the Global Mediation website by clicking the below link:

If mediation isn’t successful, or if you don’t want mediation, you can appeal to the SEN and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST). You must do this within 2 months of the date on your decision letter or a month from the date of the mediation certificate – whichever is later.

Appeals

Parents of children under 16, and young people aged 16 to 25, can appeal for the following reasons:

You can also ask the Tribunal to make recommendations about the Health or Care parts of the plan, as part of an appeal about the education parts. However, the Tribunal’s recommendations for Health or Social Care are not legally binding. If Social Care, or the Health Commissioner, do not follow the Tribunal’s Health or Social Care recommendations we must tell you why in writing.

A Tribunal Officer will be assigned to your appeal. If you need to discuss the appeal, you should contact the Tribunal Officer rather than your usual APO.

For more information on SENDIST, click on the link below to visit their website

Following an Appeal

If you are not happy with the outcome of the appeal, you can ask the Tribunal to reconsider their decision or seek the Tribunal’s permission to appeal to the Upper Tier Tribunal.

Help and Support

The Special Educational Needs and Disability, Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) at Amaze can offer support. It is a parent-led independent advice and support service for parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-25, and young people themselves. This service is free and can be contacted on:

Alternatively, you can visit their website for more information:


Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms

Some of the terms used on this website are explained on our page, 'Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms':



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